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Special Educational Needs: Pupil Exclusions

Question for Department for Education

UIN 71507, tabled on 8 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking with Ofsted to (a) define and (b) tackle the practice of off-rolling in relation to the exclusion of SEND children.

Answered on

16 November 2021

While there is no legal definition of off-rolling, the definition within Ofsted is very simple. Off-rolling is the practice of removing a pupil from the school roll without using a permanent exclusion, when the removal is primarily in the best interests of the school, rather than the best interests of the pupil.

The government is clear that off-rolling is unlawful and unacceptable in any form and will continue to work with Ofsted to tackle it. Ofsted already considers records of children taken off roll and their characteristics, and strengthened the focus on this in the revised framework in September 2019. Where inspectors find off-rolling, this will always be addressed in the inspection report and, where appropriate, could lead to a school’s leadership being judged inadequate.

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